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Massive Predictions: Crew SC at Orlando City

Can the Black & Gold get another road win and seal the playoffs at Orlando?

MLS: Orlando City SC at Columbus Crew SC Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

And then there were two... games left in the Major League Soccer regular season. Columbus Crew SC enters the penultimate week of 2018 still looking to secure a spot in the MLS Cup playoffs. The scenario is simple, win on Sunday afternoon and the Black & Gold are into the postseason. Anything else will require a Montreal Impact loss or tie to Toronto FC.

Columbus travels to take on a struggling Orlando City SC side. The Lions are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and are having their worst season in team history. OCSC has already allowed the most goals in a regular season in MLS history and they still have two games to play.

Things appears to be shaping up nicely for Crew SC but they will have to play the game. Does our staff think the Black & Gold can take care of business and lock up a playoff spot today? Let’s see.

Collin Johnson

There are only two matches left in the season and Crew SC still haven’t punched their playoff ticket. The Black & Gold, now in fifth place, sit just one point ahead of D.C. United in sixth and two points behind Philadelphia in fourth. Even third place is possible but that will require a full six points from the final two games and some creative wins and losses from the Union and New York City FC.

For the first time in the Berhalter era, this team’s weakness is scoring goals. The defense has been very good but less than stellar wing play has resulted in the second-fewest goals in all of MLS. Luckily, Columbus’ final two matches are against two of the worst teams in the league.

At Orlando, Crew SC will find the worst defense in MLS history. If that’s not enough to get over their scoring woes, then an early playoff exit, if they even get in the playoffs, will look like a foregone conclusion.
Columbus Crew SC 3 Orlando City SC 1

Patrick Murphy

Yes, Orlando City is a bad soccer team. Yes, the Lions have allowed more goals than any team in the 22-year history of MLS. Yes, Crew SC should go into Orlando City Stadium and come out with the three points necessary to secure a playoff spot with one game to play. But this is the Black & Gold we’re talking about.

Crew SC is 3-8-5 on the road this year and hasn’t won away from MAPFRE Stadium since late July. While OCSC doesn’t have much to play for, they would like nothing more than to spoil the return of Justin Meram to Orlando and I expect a spirited City side. Ultimately, I think it’s a draw between these two with Columbus still getting into the playoffs this week thanks to Toronto FC. Give Meram a goal on his return as well.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Orlando City SC 1

Guilherme Torres

I hope it doesn’t sound overconfident or disrespectful, but Columbus cannot enter this game targeting anything less than a victory. Orlando has been a punching bag for the entire league for the last few months and for a Crew team looking forward to enter the playoffs on good spirits, there’s probably not better opportunity to get a massive victory than this week.

Orlando’s head coach, James O’Connor, has been experimenting with new players and new formations, which on one hand could boost the team’s motivation a little bit, but at the same time could destroy any potential chemistry, something a well-organized team like Crew SC could certainly exploit. This game could be especially important for the attacking players, who have struggled to find the back of the net lately, but will be faced with the league’s worst defense.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Orlando City SC 0

Ralph Schudel

I see little that has me excited in this match if I’m an Orlando City supporter. The Lions haven’t won a match since July 15 and prior to Wednesday’s match, didn’t score a goal in five contests. Times are tough in Central Florida, but the prospect of playing spoiler to the returning Justin Meram and Crew SC could make Sunday’s match a bit more interesting.

The Black & Gold offense has struggled in recent weeks and that’s been well documented. It’s not unreasonable to think that this could be the match that turns the tide for Crew SC and opens the flood gates. I think Justin Meram has a great game on Sunday, as he looks to further cement Orlando’s place in the cellar of the Eastern Conference.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Orlando City SC 0

Eliot McKinley

The Crew’s 39 goals scored this season are second worst in the league, however, their total xG puts them right in the middle of the league at creating chances. Having scored 11 goals fewer than expected could be chalked up to bad finishing (if you think finishing is a thing) or, more likely in my opinion, just being unlucky.

Luckily for the Crew, this week’s opponent, Orlando City, has let in the most goals in a season MLS history. Eventually, the Crew’s ability to convert chances will revert to the mean and this game is as good as any other to get that started. If Columbus wants to host a home knockout round game, this is a must win and, given the opponent and the boost that may come now that the threat of relocation has been removed, the Crew will win this game.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Orlando City SC 0

Patrick Guldan

A Columbus Crew SC team that can’t score is facing an Orlando City team that can’t defend. Something will change and it’s more likely that Columbus will find the goals as Orlando hasn’t stopped anyone in their current, very poor, form.

Columbus is supremely motivated to lock down a playoff spot. They have both Philadelphia and D.C. United competing for the last homes play-in spot. Columbus is in danger of opening the second season on the road, if they make it at all. A Crew SC loss would signal something is very wrong with the 2018 season.

Orlando appears to have quit. The change in coach hasn’t changed form. In fact things are only gotten worse. This team can’t end the season fast enough.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Orlando City SC 0

So there you have it. What do you think will happen on Sunday afternoon? Let us know in the comment section below.